Science2013-09-05 2:56 AM

Delineating Antibody Recognition in Polyclonal Sera from Patterns of HIV-1 Isolate Neutralization

Serum characterization and antibody isolation are transforming our understanding of the humoral immune response to viral infection. Here, we show that epitope specificities of HIV-1–neutralizing antibodies in serum can be elucidated from the serum pattern of neutralization against a diverse panel of HIV-1 isolates. We determined “neutralization fingerprints” for 30 neutralizing antibodies on a panel of 34 diverse HIV-1 strains and showed that similarity in neutralization fingerprint correlated with similarity in epitope. We used these fingerprints to delineate specificities of polyclonal sera from 24 HIV-1–infected donors and a chimeric siman-human immunodeficiency virus–infected macaque. Delineated specificities matched published specificities and were further confirmed by antibody isolation for two sera. Patterns of virus-isolate neutralization can thus afford a detailed epitope-specific understanding of neutralizing-antibody responses to viral infection.

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